Posthumous tribute to an otocinclus

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This was a shy and peaceful otocinclus, like any of his species.

It was my first loss, two weeks after I set up my fish tank. Got stuck many times between the hardware and the glass, and as many times I had to rescue him.

I don’t really think it was a simple misfortune. I have to admit he has never seem really happy in this tank. He isolated himself from the others as soon as arrived.

Well, he is buried now. Maybe he was the one paying the price of my decisions.

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First Layout

So far I have completed two months with my new 54L aquarium. I first set it up on the ground, on top of a wooden board that later became the nice DIY stand of the last post (the tank is visible in some pictures there).

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I got this tank on April 1st, with decor and fish (yes, I made a fish-in cycle!). As seen in the first layout, everything was clean – gravel, rocks, wood – and shining! It took the whole day just to decide where to place decor and plants! Java moss – already in the picture above – came one week after, and its dark green makes a really nice difference. Wood and rocks seem to pop-up with a “bold frame” around them.

Plants will be probably described one by one in future posts, as I would like to keep a record of their info for future reference.

My first and biggest disappointment, even nowadays, is the ugly hardware that came with this aquarium set. The Elite Stingray 15 seems to do a nice job, but it is ugly! Too big and ugly!

Most of my fishes survived the cycling period. I lost an otocinclus. Terrible lost I would say, but I’m not sure if it was because of cycling or not. Since then I had other few losses and also offsprings.

I’m not happy yet about the layout. I liked it first days, but I still need to hide this filter! We will see…

 

First DIY aquarium stand

DIY stand

I’ve always beenĀ a big fan of DIY projects! I think DIY is not a matter of reducing costs only. Sometimes it’s even worthy to pay a bit more just to have the opportunity to create, to design, think, estimate and make things happen! The product made by your own hands is much more valuable than any ready-to-use stuff from the market, simply because it has a history and holds your better efforts (and your own design, as a plus!).

So, I wanted to create a wooden stand for my new 54 liters fish tank. Luckily, I had a broken slatted bed base at home, ready to be discarded. Recycling things makes DIY even more interesting, because of the challenge of limited resources, and also the eco-friendly attitude.

I used very simple tools, like a Swiss knife, 10cm ruler and a cheap drill machine I bought specifically for this challenge. The most time-consuming task may have been to decide on how to split the wooden pieces – some parts were pretty bad – and cut them. The most difficult task, however, is to cut with the precise length without proper tools. Anyway…

I design my own stand based on a bench plan from Ana White (here), because it fitted best with the material I already had. To complement, I had to buy two long wooden sticks and a wooden board, which costed me less than 7 euros.

My main concern was to make it strong enough for a 54L fish tank, using a wood that is supposed to be very flexible. As a result, the stand didn’t even move while two people (~130Kg) were dancing on top, trying to put it to the ground!, Well, I think I nailed it!

PS.: I even got some remaining wood to make the box you see under the stand!